WBU reaches out to help in relief efforts

PLAINVIEW – Students, faculty and staff of Wayland Baptist University passed the hat Wednesday morning – or more specifically, passed the KFC bucket. Led by members of the Wayland’s student government, WBU took up an offering during Wednesday’s chapel service to benefit Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Long-time staff and administrators could not recall any other time in recent history that Wayland has taken an offering during chapel. The impromptu collection raised $1,351 which will be sent to the Baptist General Convention of Texas to aid the victims of the hurricane. The BGCT has set up a special fund through which 100 percent of the money donated goes to the relief efforts.

The offering, however, is just part of what Wayland is doing to reach out to those in need. Dr. Claude Lusk, vice president for enrollment management, challenged the students, faculty and staff during Wednesday chapel service to do all they can to help those in need.

A special fund has been set up in the business office through which students, faculty, staff and the community can donate to the relief efforts. Wayland’s student government is also accepting donations of specific goods such as toiletry items which will be given directly to the hurricane victims being housed at the Reese Center in Lubbock.

The university has also waived certain registration fees and requirements for college students looking to transfer to another university. Although Wayland is three weeks into its fall semester, the admissions office will review case-by-case transfer requests through Friday, Sept. 16.

In addition, the Division of Fine Arts has planned a special relief concert and call to prayer which will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, in Harral Auditorium. The event will feature music by Wayland’s International Choir, Spirit, the Wayland Singers, Pioneer Band and other vocal and instrumental performances by Wayland students. There will also be a special time of prayer at the close of the concert and an offering will be taken to benefit the victims of the hurricane. Donor cards will be handed out so that interested parties can specify through which organization they prefer to channel their funds, such as the BGCT, Catholic relief fund, Salvation Army, the Red Cross or others.

On Sept. 24, Wayland’s athletics department will hold car washes at several locations, taking donations to benefit the cause. Currently, the group is thinking of holding a car wash on the Wayland campus as well as at American State Bank. Plans are tentative at this point.

While the money and materials cover two options to aid in relief work, Dr. Lusk said there is one other area in which Wayland can help – manpower.

“I really want our people to have the opportunity to go and help if they feel like that is something they need to do,” he said.

Baptist Student Ministries Director Donnie Brown is trying to find avenues where those interested can travel to areas where additional manpower is needed during the school’s fall break Oct. 20-23.

Dr. Lusk is also encouraging people to pray for the victims and workers who are dealing with the issues on a daily basis.

“The money, materials and manpower is great,” he said, “but we need to make sure that we are praying and doing our part on that end as well.”